Chinese haute-couture is getting popular with customers at home as well as gaining more international coverage in fashion extravaganzas like Hong Kong Fashion Week.
Chinese designers have been front and center at the 2012 Hong Kong Fashion Week, which kicked off this past Sunday and runs until January 19. The event features 1,900 exhibitors from 25 countries and regions.
Chinese designers are now ultra-committed to developing luxury brands from China and this trend will only gain further momentum as China continues to develop.
“As our economy develops, we are also becoming a country of famous brands, big brands. This trend is unstoppable,” Chinese designer Qi Gang told Reuters.
Qi’s SCfashion label did $47 million in sales last year with 40 stores in China, up from 25 stores.
Qi is part of a growing list of Chinese designers including Uma Wang, Qiu Hao and Ma Ke, whose Exception label is the closest thing to China’s own luxury brand, who is profiting from the growing affluence of China.
While international brands still dominate China’s luxury market, Chinese consumers are becoming more nationalistic and home-grown designers are in the best position to capitalize on the East-West dynamics.
“A lot of the Chinese designers will find a lot of satisfaction and a lot of return if they base their businesses on a domestic standpoint, simply because there is such an appetite for it,” said fashion researcher Angelia Teo, adding that local shoppers are becoming more sophisticated in their sense of style.
“We start to see the Chinese become more nationalistic in the way they purchase items. So they want to buy something that’s Chinese, they want to buy a design aesthetic they’ve grown up with. The Chinese designers are meeting that need.”
photo credit: hktdc